Million Veteran Program surpasses 580,000 enrollments; faces potential budget cut

Stars and Stripes – A large-scale Department of Veterans Affairs project to research how veterans’ genes and military service affect their health surpassed 580,000 participants Friday during an enrollment event at American Legion headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C.

The Million Veteran Program was designated the largest genomic database in the world when it reached 500,000 participants last August. Project leaders plan to use the information to research conditions such as diabetes, cancer, Gulf War illness, heart disease, kidney disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. But the project could face an uncertain future based on President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 VA budget, veterans with the American Legion said.

The budget proposal specifically states that using the Million Veteran Program to advance precision medicine would be a “particular goal” in 2018. But the budget would cut the funding allotted to medical research.

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